Sakura Wars: Gouka Kenran

Sakura Wars: Gouka KenranType: OVA
Episode Count: 6
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Sci-Fi
Vintage: 1999

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 09 Apr 2007

Grade: B

Ironically, the second outing of the Sakura Wars anime franchise works for some of the same reasons that the first falls short.

Plot Summary
As Oghami prepares to leave the Flower Division, he recalls some memorable moments with the girls of the troupe.

The Review
The second installment of Sakura Wars has only one real prerequisite: familiarity with the characters. The reason for this is that this series is nothing more than standalone episodes featuring one or two of the girls at a time. There is no overall plot, so as long as you know who the characters are, there should be no problem following the action.

Oddly, one of the things that Sakura Wars is known for – the steam-powered mecha – isn’t even in this series! The episodes are character stories first and foremost. There is a good balance between comedy and drama, and even action when the story calls for it. This is a series of side-stories, and they work well.

One thing that stood out in this series was the color palette. Colors are bright and bold, and the whole thing just looks stunning. It’s easy to see that production values were high for this series… even the soundstage was conceived in 5.1. For a short OVA, it has an amazing presentation, and despite being almost 8 years old as I write this, it stands up well to current series in this respect.

If you’re not already familiar with Sakura Wars, do a little homework (or watch the TV series) to familiarize yourself with the characters, and you can have some fun watching each character have an episode to show off. The series remains a seiyuu showcase, with plenty of songs sung by the characters, not only in the episodes themselves, but also the opening and ending themes. All around, the second Sakura Wars OVA is great fun to watch.

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